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Belhaven Scottish Ale - Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.

Belhaven Scottish AleBelhaven Scottish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,423 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1423
Reviews: 798
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.68%

Brewed by:
Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-07-2001)
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Ratings: 1,423 | Reviews: 798 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MarkoNm


4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think I found one of my new favourite beers.
Pours a clear coppery color with about a finger of two of solid just slightly off-colour head with a decent retention.
The aroma is extra nice. Some malts, some fruity smell but mostly biscuity and nutty notes, easily picked up by the nose.
The taste is likewise, amazing. Starts sweet and is followed by nice biscuity body, slight bitterness towards the end, and finishes with a nice spicy finish.
Easily drinkable, smooth, delicious. Just great.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 11:49:15 | More by MarkoNm
Photo of scottbrew4u


3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear deep amber color with a moderate creamy white head that settles to a layer of bubbles. Great lacing on the glass as you drink.
S: Bready, nutty, some toffee and other roasted barley sweetness. Light fruit esters as well.
T: Fresh brown bread, toffee, caramel, light esters of cherry like flavor, mild hop bitterness to keep the sweetness from totally running away. Mild earthy hop flavor as well. The finish is on the dry side and sweet.
M: Medium body with tiny crisp carbonation and a dry finish. No warming from alcohol.
O: Very clean and fresh tasting with some slight estery flavors and low on the smoky flavors with this Scottish Ale. Well done and easy to drink! I would get this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 01:04:14 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of Dsimenson


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint pilsner. A bubbly 3/4" head quickly reduces to very nice lacing. The color is a brilliant crystal clear orange-red. I'm having a hard time describing the aroma, but it is mild, and malty. The flavor is malt, nutty, and a bit of hops at the finish. Mouthfeel is tingly with carbonation, and a little creamy, but not much. Overall this is a style I'm not familiar with, but it is at least a very good ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 03:19:35 | More by Dsimenson
Photo of cyclonece09


3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours red amber with a small white head. Smells of dark malt very inviting. Tastes of roasted malt with slight caramel, not overly sweet but still quite tasty. Beer is carbonated a tad heavily but light bodied very drinkable. Overall a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 01:11:25 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Belhaven Scottish Ale is a clear, burnt caramel popcorn colour. Its head looks like a floating bloc of white-painted concrete; it has a stoic stillness, the seemingly immovable and imperishable impressions of a large rock and a lacing so ornate it rivals that of an ancient Corinthian pillar.

The aroma dresses a rather conventional, plain maltiness with dainty hints of spring flowers, orchard fruit esters and low levels of buttery diacetyl. They're too delicate to be either readily or greatly appreciated but these subtle garnishes set this ale apart from British bitters or pale ales.

Another faint but distinguishing characteristic is the beer's peaty notes. While it's easy to miss, especially without its usual accompaniment of campfire smoke, that distinctly earthy, 'sea brine and iodine' flavour is present, as is that other representative Scottish flavour: heather.

The soft heather and lavender-like hints of spring flowers are a compliment to the beer's surprisingly soft water profile, white peach-like esters and the restrained sweetness of grains that have been lightly caramelized in the brew kettle (as opposed to on the malting floor). The result is a normal strength beer that drinks like one half its actual size.

Belhaven Scottish Ale is a very plain but pleasant ale that I imagine would be a dream on cask. It is a lavender- and peat-accented, definitively Scottish ale that is very understated, but enjoyable. It is exactly the kind of offering (from one of the breweries) that first turned me off of commercial beer and onto better quality, more engaging craft offerings.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 22:35:58 | More by biegaman
Photo of jibbyvonjibb


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Amber color. Clear. 4.5
S: Honey. Baked apples. Caramel. Surprisingly fruity. 4
T: Strong butterscotch. Honey. A bit of acidity. Reminiscent of apple juice. Clean finish. No bitterness. 4
M: Low carb. Medium body. 4
O: Complex mix of fruity and caramel flavors. Drnk this one pretty warm (maybe 55F). 4

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 01:08:33 | More by jibbyvonjibb
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scottish ale pours a clear brown color with a big lacing head. There is a rotten and earthy aroma. The taste is earthy, with a good full malty based, lots of mellow peaty flavors. Good mellow flavors, everything blends well. Overall a very well built and complete beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 23:58:26 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Radome


4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A - Dark amber with lots of red. Crystal clear. Head is off-white and very fluffy and deep. It is made of tiny bubbles and fades to a solid but thin layer with great lacing.

S - Great clean malt aroma. It smells sweet and brown-sugary, with some plum and raising. Some gentle earthy hops add depth, but it is not very complex.

T - Nutty, bready, graham cracker malt; very clean. Some brown sugar, raisins and plums again. There are enough hops taste and bitterness to keep it from being cloying. The hops are earthy and slightly floral, obviously British. A hint of butterscotch that blends well and also the tiniest bit of smoke. Slightly sweet finish with a hint of alcohol.

M - Medium body. Creamy sensation despite very low carbonation. Low bitterness.

O - An excellent example of the style. Clean, malty and well-made.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 03:27:23 | More by Radome
Photo of mjurney


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber color, clear. Lots of carbonation rising up. Frothy, eggshell color head.

Malty, bready, toffee, butterscotch.

Very rich, bready, toasted malts, toffee, butterscotch. Hop bitterness is mild-medium, herbal-spicy. Finish is bitter, semi-crisp. Body is medium, creamy, smooth, a little dryness, nice carbonation.

An outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 03:33:47 | More by mjurney
Photo of ScottJ


3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointed after drinking Belgian trappiste ales! This does not compare. Had it on tap and it seemed to taste a lot better. Was expecting better quality what a let down. I was expecting better beer after I had it on tap a few years ago. It was not bad but could be better.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 21:51:03 | More by ScottJ
Photo of BethanyB

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: An airy off-white head that settles into a small fluff of a cloud is typical for the style. But what isn't is the medium gold color (light for an SA), as well as the slight haziness.

Smell: Round maltiness with touches of smoke, citrus fruit, and grassy hops. Expected more caramel. Did get some diacetyl, which is fine in this case, and actually brings some balance to the harsher scents.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness dominates, being accentuated by uncharacteristically high carbonation. A nice roasted nuttiness adds complexity. Malt is clean, and the bitterness, while not particularly harsh, lingers into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with surprisingly high carbonation

Overall Impression: A fine beer, although it seems to diverge from the Scottish Ale style. Seems to be more of a Northern English Brown to me, but a good one at that! Would have liked to have tasted more evidence of kettle caramelization, and less hop bitterness so that some of the other flavors could come out a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 12:26:11 | More by BethanyB
Photo of TheSixthRing


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with ruby highlights and with a 2 finger off-white head. Good retention, resulting in a firm layer of microbubbles across the top. Spotty lacing with good stick.

Smell - Aroma hits on buttery toffee, bits of caramel and very mild coffee notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Buttery toffee is the most noticeable flavor, along with light notes of caramel and butterscotch, then a mild coffee flavor hits near the finish. Not much in the way of hops, but what's there does provide a touch of bitterness to keep this beer from being too malt-driven. Slightly acidic and sour in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with lively carbonation. Near creamy in the mouth, with a crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall - I really enjoyed this beer. While it's certainly malt forward, I found great balance in the flavor and mouthfeel. Wasn't too aggressive, hitting in all the right spots. Will I buy this beer again? Hell yes.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 05:22:50 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of KYGunner


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really like the coloring of the ale as it holds so many different hues. Brown in low light to cherry reddish in higher light it is highly carbonated with a bubbly head. No lacing was left after the head retreated quickly.

Caramel malted with a tinge of hop bitterness the aroma is pleasant but not overly pronounced. Some nuttiness but the malt is dominate.

The scent and taste fall rightly aligned as caramel malt leads the way. Some of a Nut Brown Ale like quality comes out in a nutty, malty yet dry taste. A touch of graininess ends with a slightly metallic aftertaste.

I like a good Scottish Ale and this is in line with the model for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 22:51:15 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Beric


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Clear bottle poured into footed pilsner glass
Served: 6 June 2013

Appearance: Deep caramel, copper color with hints of red-gold thrown in for good measure. Nice two finger head that slowly collapses into just a ring of small, cream colored froth around the edges. Nice streams of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Immediately after opening the bottle, you could smell the skunkiness (clear bottle). Thankfully this dissipated quickly, to reveal a smell that was malty with just the faintest hint of hops.

Taste: Tastes decent- very malty. It has a lighter malty taste than say, a Doppelbock, but the overall malt profile, in my opinion, is similar between the two styles. Not the biggest fan of Doppelbock, but this less intense caramelized malt taste is much better. Just the faintest hop presence, as obviously this is not a hoppy style by nature.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat watery, but the carbonation makes it nice and refreshing. Small bubbles lead to a good medium overall carbonation.

Overall: Overall a good beer. I like malty beers, but more roasted malts (i.e. in porters, stouts) than this kind of stuff. The very skunky smell originally present leads to the biggest downgrade in rating. Probably much better from a can.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 22:12:36 | More by Beric
Photo of TheBrewWhisperer


4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearence: poors a golden flow of copper goodness with a nice 1 inch white head.

Smell: smells of dried coffee beans, with sweet malt toffee, little bit of hop and a predominant skunk (which all beer lovers should enjoy)

Taste: A soft caramel flavor with coffee like malt flavor from the front end of your mouth down to the taste of a plum and other dark fruits.

Mouth feel: a soft fast gulp finish, a good beer for those who like to sip and drink at the same time, i could call this one of the most sessioned beers of the season, this is what i call a Grade B+ ale, for those who want to get into Scottish ales i have no problem recommending this to my friends and beer buddies anytime.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 00:57:10 | More by TheBrewWhisperer
Photo of Mendelbaum

4.9/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer. Outstanding nutty flavor that even my wife liked. The finish was clean. Aroma was inviting. I would drink this all day long. I was doing a little Ale comparison and put it up agains Mirror Pond. I enjoyed the Mirror Pond but this was superior.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 00:22:11 | More by Mendelbaum
Photo of burnerfinger


3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bought this one just because:

poured from the 500 ml bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A pours super clear = copper red with decent head (about 1 finger) and lacing.
head settled quick...

S VERY SKUNKED. (clear bottle) honestly not much else makes it thru to the nose

T - a bit flavorless IMHO - hoping to get more as it warms

M = not bad here, carbonation just right.

D - drinkalbe enuf that I'll finish the pint

most likely im moving on to the next ....

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 04:46:29 | More by burnerfinger
Photo of MaximalC


3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours translucent caramel in color with an ample off-white head. Aroma is considerably skunked, no doubt on account of the clear glass used for bottling. Some trace sugars can be found lurking behind the skunky smell if you look. Pleasant, frothy lacing clings to the glass as the beer descends.

Taste comes on mild and balanced at first, but overt sweetness sets in in the finish. We're not talking complex or subtle sweetness, either; this is more like raw sugar with a dose of caramel. Hops are difficult to detect until after the cloying sweetness has subsided. The best thing this brew has going for it is the mouthfeel, which is semi-creamy, with a carbonation level that lends some vitality on the tongue. Any more carbonation and it might be a bit much, but I think it works as is.

Overall, this Scottish ale is alright if you can tolerate the sweetness, but it can be readily bypassed for superior alternatives.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 01:57:44 | More by MaximalC
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, and a slight caramel aroma. Taste is much the same with a nice malt flavor that lingers on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 02:02:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a rich ruby color with a large sticky off white head. The lace sticks all around the glass and retains until the last sip.

The aroma rich with semi sweet roasted malt, with hints of hazelnut and a whiskey like smokiness.

Toasted malt with hints of caramel, toffee, and a single malt scotch smokiness surround the palate. There is a hint of herbal, medicinal hop bitterness blended with a semi-dry smokey finish, some buttery diacetyl.

Medium bodied yet slick on the palate and goes down easy with some mild carbonation.

Overall, this ale is delicious. If you are in to malty ales with a bit of smokiness you are in for a treat.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 04:42:26 | More by Luigi
Photo of searsclone


3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

bottle into a pint glass

copper color with a super sticky, velvety white head. tons of lace.

smell is mostly skunk, probably from the clear glass in the bottle, and a touch of spice.

taste is smoke and dark malts, nice balance

mouth is velvety smooth and creamy. easy to drink

overall, just average from the bottle. I would like to try this from a can or tap, as I imagine it is much better. I assume the bottle doesn't do it justice

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 01:49:18 | More by searsclone
Photo of pkalix


4.73/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ya know, i read the last guy's review on this and TOTALLY get what he meant by the 'butterscotch' aromas....
nice color (orange-y, brown), nice head, beautiful beer when poured.
smell is ... typically english/scotch with that curious 'butterscotch' aroma....
taste is... awesome. i love this stuff. when england (or scotland) does it right, it is GOOD! too many funky, weird ones out there from those regions, but i really like this distinct style and blend. i cant describe it, but it is the german equivalent to the sweetness of a dopplebock yet not as sweet, but very satisfying and tasty. this ought to be the offical style of the 'little countries'....

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 02:05:26 | More by pkalix
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

I had this beer in nitro can format before and this is quite different (and better) then standard carbonation format in my opinion.

Appearance – Pours a deep copper-amber color with a two finger white head. The head fades over a moderate amount of time to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is of a bready and caramel nature mixed with some butterscotch aromas.

Taste – A bready and sweet caramel flavor greet the tongue. These flavors create a base for the taste in which other flavors then enter upon. A butterscotch and buttery flavor come to the tongue giving it a more “savory” taste. These flavors are met with some slightly roasted malt flavors more toward the end of the taste and leave a rather caramel and butterscotch sweet and roasted flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is just below average in terms of thickness/creaminess with a carbonation level that is average. As I predicted in my previous review, this carbonation and feel suits the flavors of the beer much better than the nitro driven can. Quite nice.

Overall – This is the way in which this beer should be enjoyed. The “standard carbonation” really is much nicer for the blend of sweet, buttery, and roasted flavors of the brew the nitro. If you go for a Belhaven Scottish ale I say go for the non nitro. Quite nice (odd as I normally prefer the nitro driven body).

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 02:28:37 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Breen


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour/Appearance: Chestnut brown hue with a thin head and slightly below average retention/lacing. Large chunks of yeast were floating in the bottle, mostly towards the bottom.

Smell: The smell is mostly mash/wort with a hint of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Taste: Smoked peat, caramel.

Overall: The character is what one would expect a scottish ale to be. It tastes of the earth and the malts that make it up. The bottle describes a mix of malt and nutty flavor. Nutty did not come to mind, but I suppose I could get there.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 01:35:15 | More by Breen
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint from a clear glass bottle....ugh.

4.0 A: Clear, very light brown color. One finger of frothy beige head. Retention is about average and a decent sized ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Lots of toastiness with an equally potent mineral component. A bit of skunkiness, but it's not bad. It actually kind of works with the nose. A bit of caramel, but dry overall.

4.0 T: The taste is much cleaner than the nose. Lots of toastiness, grainy malts, caramel, mineral. Again dry, but not unbalanced. Tasty, earthy beer.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking creaminess and could be a bit thicker, but good enough.

4.0 D: Pleasant, easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 22:08:50 | More by DavoleBomb
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Belhaven Scottish Ale from Belhaven Brewery Company Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 1,423 ratings.